Thursday, March 19, 2009

I laughed so much I cried

Okay, so I haven't been around in a while. Just preoccupied with life, but still making stuff. Right now the pile of things to snap pix of is out of control. Also, lots of half finished projects due to gauge issues. Enough excuses.

Enjoy this:

Those crazy Welsh!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Let the New Tradition Begin...

Well, last year I thought this was kind of funny and silly. My 2 crazy kids decided to decorate the Christmas tree with their p*nt*es (got to keep that crazy away). They laughed, I took pictures and we all had a little giggle.


One year later, the didn't forget. The tree went up last night. Just the tree, no lights, nothing. This morning they were looking for a bucket, but it was time to leave for school. Today after school, they snuck upstairs with a bucket. They snuck back down and it happened again.


I bring you the great new family tradition - The P*nt* Tree. Crafted in the minds of two very silly girls. This is the life.

Don't worry, the tree will be certainly be undecorated later tonight as we add the lights.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Linky-dinky-doos and Project Updates

Well, hello there intrepid blog readers. I figure sporadic posts are better than none. I'm sick, don't want to go anywhere, so I might as well update you on what I've been secretly working on.

First, my friend Amy has started her own Etsy shop. Amy has been working hard making bags, stockings and tree skirts for a craft fair in town. I don't know how well it went, but I know this. Last Friday, there were 3 bags in her shop, and this morning there is only one. I'm sure she was quite successful at the fair, and I know this is an etsy shop you'll want to watch. And such a good deal too!

Secondly, I won. I actually won something in the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day. I won this cute cape from Tabitha's Momtastic Stitchery blog. I'm not telling the girls, I'm going to let it be a surprise. More than 100 blogs participated in giveaway day. I'm going to look out for the call for entries next year, because it was lots of fun. I found a bunch of fun blogs to read, and I whiled away some of my boring sicky time.

What am I making for the holidays - well, here you go.

We've got socks for Beana.

knit, socks

She loved the circle socks I made for Ginger so much, she begged me to make them for her. They are made out of Panda Silk color #4001 Periwinkle tones, a silk and merino blend. So nice to work with. So soft, so smooth. She picked it out in August. I don't think she remembers that.

The socks for Baybah are almost done. I'll probably finish them tonight.

knit, socks

They are much more plummy than in the picture, but that's how purples are. You can never get a good color going. This is a basic sock recipe. I still refer to Pixie's directions from the Webs KAL. Sorry. I went to look for the links, but it's missing since the site overhaul. Probably not too different from the Yarn Harlot's basic recipe from Knitting Rules free from Knitty Gritty. Pixie just had nice diagrams which helped me with my first socks last year. These are made from Knit One, Crochet Too Soxx Appeal in Plum. I like how the elastic makes the yarn very stretchy, but it isn't as smooth as I would like. I went a little nuts buying this last winter for socks for hubby in brown that I still haven't made. I've stared a few times, but they just look messy to me. And then Baybah picks out her color at the yarn shop. And I couldn't redirect. I hope she likes them.

Baybah wants a brown hat.

knit, hat

We were in AC Moore and yarn was on sale. Baybah insisted on having this brown for a hat. I believe her intention is to match her hair. It's Caron Simply Soft Heather in Truffle.

And I need to finish the hat so I can work the sleeves for her sweater.

knit, sweater

She picked out this purple the same day. She wants a zippered sweater, no hood. I'm making it up as I go. Unfortunately, I didn't measure a current sweater, so it's only 24" around and should be 28" around. Not because she's chunky, she's a string bean, but because she needs to have lots of wiggle room. It means that once I've made the sweater I'm going to pickup on either side of the cardi opening and work 2 inches of garter on each side. Then I'll crochet some flowers to applique in place and it will be a very cute 4 year old sweater. It's Red Heart Soft in Lavendar. I found a cute striped grosgrain ribbon to sew over the selvages of the zipper inside.

I picked out this Teal yarn for Beana on the same day.

crochet, sweater

I showed her the yarn (she's been asking for teal for a while now) and asked her what she wanted. She said short sleeves and picked the Giovanna Cardi from Lion Brand. I got gauge, but it seems small. Maybe I messed something up. If I have time, I may just make it again in a larger size. I know now that it will fit her, but it will be fitted. We shall see.

Last but not least, I finally got this out in the mail .

sewing, quilting

It's a crib bumper for Baby G in NY. I made a matching quilt this summer and his mom asked if I could make a matching bumper. I think this might be the favorite of the 3 quilts I have made for her, oh, I mean her 3 kids. The pattern is a riff on a vintage patter that was in the BHG Quilt magazine that my mom gets. I went through them in the spring, and this pattern piqued my interest. I love the way the quilt and the bumper came out. I would show you the quilt, but the pix got lost in the great computer crash of '08.

Okay, I'm going to update Ravelry now, then I'm goint to rest.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Well, this fall has been a good time to have a birthday and be my friend.

Garmish Hat and matching scarf

First up, Amy. She had requested a hat for her birthday. This was a bit tricky. Amy has very, very sensitive skin (she had a horrible rash from Transformers temporary tatoos once), so wool was not my first choice. I just couldn't risk it. I decided to
pickup some silky bamboo yarn. Plymouth Royal Bamboo in fact. The pattern is Garmish by Libby Grant. It was fun, but I should have spent much more time trying to understand the chart than I did. It would have helped me out along the way.

Garmish Hat

The scarf is a simple 2 x 2 rib. It has asymmetrical brown ends with a lucious blue in the middle. This blue is Amy's color of 2008. It just sings to her, and it matches her eyes to boot.

Scarf tie

The tie is a pony tail holder that I crocheted the ends of the blue yarn around ( really, I didn't want to waste an inch of the bamboo). I then sewed the brown E beads around. It came out pretty well I think and it was a very cute idea from Ginger.

knit, socks

Ginger received Circle Socks for her birthday. The pattern is by Anne Campbell. Oh la la! Those were as fun as the Monkeys. So much so that the Bean has asked that I make those socks for her. Ginger had requested Pomatomus socks, but they were just beyond me. I started them at least 4 times and didn't want to work on them at all. YOs and Ktbl on size 2's just didn't come together. Oh, and the yarn is a lovely Zitron Trekking Pro Natura Color 1601.

crochet, sweater

The most important gift of the season was the wedding sweater I designed and made for my lovely sister-in-law Suzie. She's a doll. She wanted a sweater to cover her arms for the wedding. We had a trial fitting of the bodice when I was up in NY this August. Good thing too - because I had made the sweater too revealing. Fortunately the lace worked up so quickly that I was able to drop the fronts down and remake them in 1 afternoon.

crochet, sweater

She wanted very big bell sleeves. I made them 25" - but I think she might have liked 30". I think they fall pretty well, but I might have redesigned them if I did it again. Funny story, right before the wedding I was looking at her, and she looked slightly uncomfortable; the sweater just wasn't falling correctly. Upon closer inspection I realized that she had the thing on upside down. A quick flip and all was good - and more comfortable as well. The yarn is TLC Cotton Plus in white. In the photos you can see the white is not as blue as the white in her gown. Sigh. Another sensitive skin wooly averse person. The good news is she looked fabu and wore the sweater the whole night through.

crochet, afghan

Here is an afghan that I designed which I call "Lazy Lattice". It is a filet blanket for Bean's teacher's father. He was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but thankfully they believe they completely removed the growth in surgery and he is on his way to recovery. I will have this available as a free pattern as soon as I get my act in gear.

Ah, Sunrise Circle Jacket.

knit, sweater

My gift to me, someday. My row gauge is off. I knew this and compensated for it in the back. Fortunately I didn’t cast off the front before I tried it on. It is way too long in the arms and the front is too big to attach to the back.

knit, sweater

I was able to try it on by quickly basting it together using a #2 47” knitpicks circular needle. No, they do not pay me, but I love, love, love all of my nickel plated knit picks needles. They are so smooth and pointy. It's a dream to work with them, and a nightmare when I can't.

knit, sweater

It I have to throw in a life line and frog about 8 -10 rows off the front. I also have to pick out the cast on at the wrist and frog back a few inches. The cotton is so heavy it is dragging the cuff hem down. At least I know how to fix it. I’m just not mentally ready to do it yet.

So instead I started making my Feburary Lady Sweater

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hello Blog, It's Me Lauren

Well, it has been 206 days since my last confession. There's no real excuse. I've just been doing other things. And as I got further and further away from my last post, it became even more and more daunting to come back.

I simply seemed to have lost my mojo. Don't take that to mean that I haven't been making things. Au contraire, I have been busy. The kids got lots of capris, skorts, and shorts to start school. A few dresses are thrown in there too, including 2 for me.

Vintage Simplicity Pattern lent to me by Amy. Sari fabric courtsey of Jo-Ann fabrics clearance section. - What were they thinking.

I've been making toys, blankets, dolls and sweaters for the innumerable babies being born in the last year.

knit; baby sweater;
Presto Chango Sweater by Valerie and posted at Jimmy Bean's Wool.

And of course there was the major hard drive crash of '08. We lost everything after our last full backup in 9/2006. We've been scrounging around for pics of the kiddos and fun things we have done. We've recovered somewhat. We were pretty good at getting the best pics printed, so it's not a total loss.

I've made sweaters...

Empress Babydoll Top by Robyn Chachula from Interweave Crochet Spring 2007

Look, it's the same yarn as my Cabled Socks - I even have a little left, what a cone!

My Own Vest
The Cotton-Ease I received for Christmas from WonderHubby became a vest for me - with waist shaping.

Sunrise Circle Jacket by Kate Gilbert originally from Interweave Knits Spring 2006, but I got mine free online in the spring. This is the front left and left arm.

Back view.

Well, that last one is not finished yet, but I've been side tracked by birthday and wedding things.
You will see more pictures once certain things have been delivered. They have been photographed, so that's half the battle. Just you wait. Okay, not quite with baited breath, but I should be back sooner rather than later.

Big (old)news... Baybah finally decided to potty train herself around the 1st week in March. Just a few weeks later, it seemed like she'd been trained for ever. I only mention it because I left you hanging oh so long ago my faithful readers.

We found a new recipe for canning tomatoes this year. Wonder Hubby found it to be precise. We roast the tomatoes on the grill will all manner of herbs and garlic then we use our new Oxo Food Mill. From here we either cook it with sausage and meatballs to make "The Most Delicious Sauce In the World" or I don't add the meat and can it. I probably put up about 30 quarts this year. Whew. I also put up 4 quarts of Indian Grilled Tomatoes from the re-released Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. Yum.

Sorry fellow readers to have neglected you for so long. I hope to be back again soon with more pics and linky-dinky-doos.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008



Ah, the first set of Monkeys is finally done. Unwashed and unblocked in all of their glory. I got the first one done quickly, but then I hit a stumbling block. Grafting. Kitchner Stitch. Sigh. You may remember that I did knit each of my girls a pair of socks for Christmas, but the toes were just awful. I can admit it. I like perfection and they were no where near it. I'm not there yet, but I did a lot better.


I grafted the first toe wrong and so the sock sat idly by, waiting for birthdays and parties to pass so I could concentrate again. I left the toe waiting while I cast on the second sock. After a marathon of preschool knitting yesterday, I managed to get the second sock down to the toe decreases and wrapped it up last night.

Toe grafting came today with the help of Knitting I've tried, pictures, diagrams and written instructions, but evidently I needed much more visual help. Finally, they are done. I do have more sock yarn waiting for me, as well as Wonder Hubby's socks, but I need a different project right now.


I whipped up this little baby in two days for a birthday. Our friend Oscar came and loved a toy we had. He's turning 7 next week, and the original toy was a bit young for him and a bit girlie, so I decided to cobble this together.


Zok the Alien has 7 tendrils on his head and 7 eyes, because Oscar is turning 7. It's convertible. It works, and I'm glad it's done. I was sewing on eyes about 1 hour before the party on Sunday - so lets let out a collective "Whew".

What am I up to next? Well, I've finally started the first pattern I made in the Smart Patterns program Wonder Hubby got me for Christmas. The program is limited to v-necks and crew necks right now, women's sizes only and only worsted weight and higher yarn. The work around is you can put in your measurements and your gauge and have it plunk out any sweater you want. Sort of. There are less than 20 motifs for color work (which you can mix and match) and no other stitch patterns included. The program has only Lion Brand Yarns built in. Personally, I think they rushed to market too quickly and set up a deal too early with one yarn company. I'm still only at the waist ribbing on my sweater, so there's lots of stockinette to go. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Well, I haven't been here, because I've been having lots of fun knitting and crocheting.

Example 1:

Fetching Mitts

Fetching mitts from Knitty. Cute, lovely, comfy, quick. I liked making these. I could see making these again for someone else. I have 2 more skeins of the Peru DK Luxury that I used on my Purple Haze sweater. Since Baybah snatched them right off the ironing board after steaming, I think she will get a pair. And when one gets something... so does the other. Well, maybe next year.

Example 2:

Pam's Fabric Rug

A 36" x 20" throw rug made from strips of finished fabric. Meaning I cut it up, sewed it together, then used a bias tape maker to press the little buggers into neat strips with no raw edges, and rolled them into neat little balls. I made the "yarn" up last winter, but just didn't like crocheting with the large hook. I gave up too easy. The balls of farn(?) were mocking me, plaguing me and taking up space. So I plunked myself down on the floor and made it happen.

I LOVE IT!!! It's so great. I'm looking forward to doing it again.

Example 3:

Monkey Socks - progress

Monkey Socks!!! I love these too. They're so quick and easy and fun. I know understand why people love to make socks and love to make these socks. I already have another ball of sock yarn set aside for another pair for me.

I am making another Lacy Child Top, this time in long sleeves. I need to sit down on it and finish the sleeves, etc. I'd better get a move on so Bean can have it on her birthday. Damn you, Monkeys.

I've also been cruising on Operation Toasty Toes Mitts. Working on getting some stuff finished so I can send it out. I like to finish skeins of things before I send them, so that takes a little while. Unfortunately, I can only get 5 mitts from a skein of Red Heart Super Saver, that means I need to have 2 skeins to not have leftovers.

My baby hats are lacking. I haven't made one, except for the ones I've give to people for their own babies. And speaking of babies, we have news of 2 coming this year. I'd better get a move on.

I had a blissful sewing day last week. Wonder Hubby took the kids to visit his sister for the day. I sewed from 10-5 and then went back from 8-10:30. Wow, that was a lot. I made... 3 skirts for the Bean's birthday (on Saturday - 6!!!!), I put a hem around 4 pieces of flannel for receiving blankets, made 12 bags for the forthcoming Easter Egg hunt (lined and all - no handles yet - I'm thinking ribbon), and a flannel bathrobe for each of the girls. What a day. I was tiring and pleasing and reminded me how much I like to sew and how much I need to work through my fabric stash too. I have a sundress lined up for each of the girls. I need to make a baby quilt for one of the babies this summer (big brother and sister each got one, so I'm keeping the tradition going).

Okay, I'm going to visit the Monkeys again. And play with Baybah, of course.